Omey Island

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Darley Newman
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Today I was able to do a very unique ride out to Omey Island with Siobhan of Cleggan Riding Centre. Omey Island is a tidal island located in the Connemara region of Ireland. It is about as far West as you can travel. The island is only accessible via a sand bridge during parts of the day.

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It was almost eerie to ride across the sand bridge out to the island. A low fog hung close to the sand, as a small herd of cattle made a break away from the island towards the mainland. I guess they saw that the tide was low and they had only a short window to escape Omey Island.

There is only one man living on the island now and many abandoned houses. Like many parts of Western Ireland, Omey Island felt the harsh effects of the potato famine.

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We rode to a holy well, whose water is said to cure a variety of ailments. The mythical island is rich in monastic history. St. Feichin, who is known for spreading Christianity throughout much of this part of Ireland had a monastery on the island. There is an old church, which has been partially excavated, which is nearly 1500 years old.

This part of Ireland is definitely not on the typical tourist itinerary, and it is a great place to explore on horseback.

Learn more about Equitrekking on PBS and the Ireland episodes and learn about exceptional equestrian vacations, including Ireland equestrian vacations, at EquitrekkingTravel.com.